Hotels, lodging, and travel-related businesses are slowly starting to pick up after being hard-hit by the recent pandemic. As people are now gradually becoming open to going places once again, the hospitality industry must develop new ways to implement effective digital marketing strategies.
As an owner or manager of hotels or any lodging property, perhaps you are curious about the marketing strategy that will produce results in the ever-changing digital landscape. What are things to avoid, and what can you do instead to encourage more travelers to book a room? Below are some of the ideas you can start on.
Top Hotel Marketing Strategies to Avoid
Paying no attention to your target audience
It should be clear that all hotels and lodging establishments will serve a specific niche of people. One of the biggest no-no’s in your hotel marketing is not thinking about your potential guests. Some areas to specify your strategy can include the following:
- Budget point: Are you serving the economic group, luxury group, or a mix of both? It is helpful to consider when creating marketing messages both on your hotel website and social media platforms.
- Traveler types: Are most of your clients traveling solo, couples, or families? Are they traveling for business or pleasure? You can create campaigns to feature business or leisure traveler’s needs and expectations. These are also some strong niche-related promotional points as you plan your strategy.
- Location and vicinity: The hotel’s location is also a great point to target people who are visiting or staying in the area. By creating campaigns related to known landmarks and upcoming events, you can have a more effective strategy.
Lack of social media marketing strategy
One of the marketing mistakes that hotel owners and managers make is the lack of a social media strategy. Social media platforms such as Facebook and Instagram should be utilized to increase engagement and bookings. Some smart ways that you can implement a seamless customer experience in social media include the following:
- Use of sponsored posts: Many sponsored posts in social media can be optimized for any local business. For example, if a user’s GPS shows that they are traveling close to the location, or recent search data shows that they are planning a trip to a location, sponsored posts can be promoted to such users.
- Visual carousels: Carousels or multiple photos in one post are effective in bringing up your social media content in the algorithms. As a business, it is important to showcase your hotel room, facilities, as well as nearby destinations in your area.
- Seamless calls to action: How can you encourage guests to stay at your hotel? Bookings are likely to increase if the user experience shows that people can easily book just by clicking a post or link from your hotel’s social media. Perhaps a good strategy is showing posts featuring the hotel with a clickable link to a landing page that allows users to choose dates, number of guests, and location.
Neglecting content marketing
Although social media is very powerful for promoting the hotel industry, solely focusing on this will leave you with less-than-desirable results. There is also tight competition within the realm of content marketing for hotels and lodging businesses.
One of the top hotel marketing strategies to avoid is having a bare website. You can improve your search engine rankings by doing the following:
- Creating relevant blog posts: It is important to produce quality blog posts with keywords and content that is suited for your target audience. Some key posts to include travel ideas for those who are visiting your city, ways to travel smartly in your location, and other topics that will entice readers who are about to book a room.
- Keyword research: Speaking of creating content, one must research relevant keywords who are in the “booking mindset”. These are people who have already decided on traveling to your area but are choosing between hotels. Find valuable keywords such as those looking for the best lodging options, comparing between hotels, or any other useful information to get your potential guests onboard.
- Seasonal strategies: Does your area have annual events or landmarks that are well-known tourist attractions? You can also create content for these events and make a call-to-action to book a room in your hotel.
Poor customer service
Customer service is a pillar of the hotel and hospitality industry. As a business always dealing with multiple clients, it is essential to have robust customer service that is responsive and helpful.
Even with a beautiful website and an engaging social media platform, your efforts may be nullified with poor customer service. Some ways to improve your customer service for clients are:
- Implementing automation: There are programs available to automate some basic responses to give to your potential guests. For example, some systems can include responding about which rooms are available on specific dates, customer service numbers, and current protocols about operations.
- 24/7 response: Unlike some businesses, hotels and lodging companies should be available to respond regarding client questions. Having staff available to respond to complex issues greatly improves your customer service quality.
- Different platforms: Having multiple platforms for customer services such as through phone calls, email, or instant messaging can also help in improving the user experience.
No consistency and planning
Thinking of another blunder to avoid? Like with most digital marketing strategies, consistency and planning are key. In all areas such as content marketing, social media, email marketing, or PPC, it is important to always stay updated with the current best practices while developing a consistent plan.
To make things more effective in all areas of your promotion, you must take note of:
- Post scheduling: Creating an editorial calendar for your website content and social media posts will be helpful in establishing consistency.
- Hiring manpower: Having content strategists and social media managers will also help you in implementing the tasks related to digital marketing.
- Timing promotions: Take note of peak seasons to travel or visit your location and promote consistently during these times.
Hotel Marketing Strategies to Avoid: Setting a Plan in Place
The ultimate way to have an effective strategy in promoting your hotel or any other lodging business is to have a plan in place. By minding the things to avoid mentioned above, you can create a solid plan to get more potential guests using all your digital marketing avenues.
Looking for marketing websites that will increase direct bookings for your hotel or lodging property? E-Marketing Associates can help you develop and implement a digital marketing strategy to increase direct bookings on your vanity website.